David Swenson

Associate Professor of Ceramics and Sculpture

Email: david.swenson@ndsu.edu

Office: Renaissance Hall 324C 

Phone:  (701) 231-8691



M.F.A., University of Minnesota

Minneapolis B.F.A., Kansas City Art Institute



David Swenson’s recent work includes three consecutive engagements at the International Snow carving Symposium in Winnipeg, Manitoba and an appearance on The Food Challenge Network’s Incredible Edible Landscapes in 2009. He also had a solo show at Sam Houston State University 2010.  Most recently He has completed the construction of the NDSU Woodkiln.  He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Visual Arts at North Dakota State University focusing on sculptural media and research in wood kiln design, construction & firing techniques.  More information can be found at ndsuwoodfire.com

Utilitarian ware
I have sought to incorporate forms associated with architecture and the figure to produce pieces that could be part of a daily ritual and create an aesthetic awareness.  This current body of work is press molded or slip cast and altered.  The materials chosen are to display a variety of surface qualities and working properties.  

The works selected are made from porcelain clay that has been formulated to be slip cast.  It is then molded and carved into differing permutations of the original form.


This cup has been glazed prior to being fired in the wood kiln with a plant based ash glaze.  Ash glazes can be made from a number of burned plant materials such as oak trees, sunflower seed hulls, or flax straw.  The ash is washed, screened to particle size and dried before being added to a glaze formula. 


Ask Me

Who are your role models or inspiring folks?
My father.

Outside of art and design fields, what inspires you?

What do you wish you had known when you started out as a student/in this field?
More of everything.

What was your most memorable meal?
Today, Holy Donuts Maple Donut in Portland Maine with the Blueberry coffee.


In your office, you can only have three things, one book, one tool, and one picture. What would they be and why?
My Fronius Maxsteal 2200 because I could build whatever other tools I need with this welder. My Mac "Book" Pro to look up and read anything I could possibly need or want. A picture of my family to remind me of what is most important.

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